Getting out of Lexington: Adventures in Buena Vista

Check out the best places to go in Buena Vista, a quick 15-minute drive from Lexington


Buena Vista has many attractions downtown, including restaurants and camping. Photo by Josette Corazza, ’20.

Josette Corazza

Buena Vista, Virginia, is a quick 15-minute drive from Lexington. It boasts enough attractions to justify taking a day trip to the small city of around 6,000 people. Commonly referred to as “BV” and pronounced BEW-na VIS-ta, the independent city is located along the Maury River. You can actually tube your way down the Maury from Lexington all the way to Buena Vista.

Downtown Buena Vista. Photo by Joestte Corazza. ’20.

Some of Buena Vista’s biggest claims to fame include the Vista Links Golf Course and the Glen Maury Park. The Golf Club features a classic 18-hole course with five sets of tees. The club offers cart rental, club fitting, a snack bar and more. The range is open year-round and offers daily and annual passes. The Club is actually on part of Glen Maury Park.

Spanning 600 acres, Glen Maury Park offers wooded trails, a 52-site campground and multiple pavilions. The city hosts “Fridays in the Park”–free, weekly outdoor concerts held in the fresh air. If you are craving a day hike or want to try your hand at overnight camping, Glen Maury Park is a fantastic nearby solution.

If you’ve had your fill of outdoor sports and aerobics, make your way over to Buena Vista’s quaint downtown full of different shopping and dining options.

Photo by Josette Corazza, ’20.

A fun store to pop into is Becky’s Bridal & Formal, a formal-wear emporium specializing in weddings and proms. Although we are all past the point of high school homecoming, it is so much fun to look through the racks of bejeweled dresses. You never know–you might find something perfect for Fancy Dress.

Flowers, Antiques & Things is located on the way out of the downtown area, but be sure to stop in. The sweet store owner, Mary Huffman, operates a cat shelter out of the back area of the shop. She sells everything from floral arrangements to clothing and jewelry. I recently spent quite a while chatting with Mary as I browsed around the boutique. I enjoyed getting to know her as I perused the gorgeous jewelry and fascinating antiques. Buena Vista is a town where southern hospitality shines from every storefront.

Buena Vista also boasts the nearest tanning salon to Lexington, besides Sun Tan City 45 minutes away. Tropical Sands Tanning is located inside Expressions Hair Salon and offers monthly packages from $49 to $80 with frequent special discounts. I know how frustrating it can be to live in Lexington, a place that used to have about three tanning salons running at one time and now has none. If you are looking to get some color for Christmas Weekend formals, consider making the short drive over to Buena Vista.

Buena Vista additionally offers an eclectic mix of dining options, from the classic Mexican style of Don Tequila to the great taste of Chinese order-only favorites from Canton Restaurant. And head down Route 60 to experience the robust Italian flavor of Original Italian Pizza or the timeless southern flair of fresh smoked meats from JJ’s Meat Shak.

Just be sure to save room for dessert at the adorable Ice Slice creamery. The store offers regular and rolled ice cream in a variety of delightful flavors. Watching the employees make and roll the ice cream on a sub-zero surface is both entertaining and entrancing. Once you have seen each ingredient of your dessert added to the final product, you get to enjoy the distinct taste and texture of the frozen rolls yourself.

With so much to offer and located only a short drive away, Buena Vista is well worth a visit.